Monday, June 29, 2009

AN OPEN LETTER TO POTENTIAL STRAIGHT ALLIES OF LGBT PEOPLE

There are to be no second-class citizens in the United States! We established a long time ago that “separate is not equal,” and all American citizens are entitled to enjoy equality under the law. Any society that presumes to refer to itself as “decent” and “civilized” must not in any way discriminate against any group of people through its laws or their enforcement.

We should have learned this painful lesson during the struggle for African American civil rights, and we must now apply that lesson in this struggle for full and equal civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (hitherto referred to as LGBT) people. LGBT people are entitled to the same rights and privileges that accrue to all other citizens of the United States

Gay people are certainly entitled to full and equal civil rights, including the right to marry! The lies and other nonsense purveyed by many self-proclaimed arbiters of “morality,” often cloaked in the guise of religion, that same-sex marriage destroys “the sanctity of marriage” is ludicrous on its face!

I have been married to my wife for forty-seven years, and I can’t see how same-sex marriage will in any way negatively impact my marriage or in any way destroy the sanctity of my marriage! No rational person can believe that same-sex marriage in any way compromises the institution of marriage, an institution that has taken many forms in our history.

As a Christian, I am profoundly embarrassed and outraged by those professing Christians who are in the vanguard of discrimination against LGBT people; who spew hateful rhetoric, borne out of their ignorance and/or their hatred and/or their avariciousness, that is diametrically opposed to anything Jesus said, lived, or taught to all who would claim to be His disciples! Indeed, Jesus saved His harshest words for those who claimed to be “godly” and yet sought to put yokes of bondage onto others!

Christians love other people, and the only Gospel to be found in Christianity is comprised of: grace (God’s unmerited favor to us), faith (trusting God over and above seen circumstances), love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness. There is no other Gospel!

Jesus makes it abundantly clear that we are to love and not judge or condemn others! Any professing Christian who thinks that he/she is representing Jesus by doing the very opposite of what Jesus told us to do is not only seriously misled, but is woefully misleading the public, many of whom are gullible enough to take the purveyors of the false gospel of legalism and perfectionism seriously.

Moreover, we are under the Constitution of the United States and we are not a Theocracy! Since when are we to take a group of people’s understanding of the Bible, an “understanding” far more informed by their preconceived prejudices than it is by anything else, and enshrine those prejudices into our laws of the land; impose those prejudices onto a minority group that all too many professing Christians and others view as being relatively “safe” to persecute?

The discrimination against LGBT people in the names of “Christianity,” “morality,” “tradition,” “the well being of our children,” and any other specious reasons given for this oppression has many of us saying: “Enough is enough!” We’re not going to take it anymore!

For those of us who are Christians, we are sick and tired of having those who would hate and/or discriminate against others presume to speak for us! For those of us who are heterosexual, we are sick and tired of watching our LGBT sisters and brothers be oppressed! For those of us who are LGBT, we are sick and tired of being viewed and treated as second-class citizens, denied marital and other rights and benefits that heterosexual tax paying citizens are given and take for granted.

In sum, LGBT rights activists demand full and equal civil rights that every other citizen of the United States possesses, and we won’t rest or stop until that goal is achieved!
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6 comments:

Any woman you may know said...

Rev. Maneker, I have been following your blog for a few weeks now, and as a lesbian in a conservative family I really appreciate your honesty in being a Christian. You are absolutely right. So many people use God as an excuse to hate and suppress LGBT people, that when I was a young LGBT teenager I actually became an Atheist because of what I call "false Christianity". Athesism was a cold and lonely road. Now, empowered with the knowledge that God did not make a mistake when he made me, a gay person, I am working to rebuild a relationship with Him. Thanks so much for your words of Truth, as they are very encouraging!
-Marie
www.moderndaylesbian.blogspot.com

Jerry Maneker said...

God bless you for saying that, Marie. I'm very grateful.

All that legalism and perfectionism has nothing to do with Christianity and it is, as you say, "false christianity."

Jesus only castigated people like those who seek to place yokes of bondage onto others and have the temerity to do it in God's name. Best wishes, Jerry.

Buffy said...

Thank you for that lovely letter.

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks so much, Buffy. Best wishes, Jerry.

Audrey said...

I am so glad I found this site. I was raised as a Christian and as I've grown up I've become increasingly disheartened by professing Christians trying to use the Bible as an excuse for their bigotry.

Often, I've felt isolated with my personal faith and what the Bible means to me since so many Christians I've encountered are preaching things I don't believe to be true. Many of my gay and lesbian friends sadly think that if someone is Christian, that person doesn't accept them.

I was so thrilled to find a website that echoed my sentiments entirely. Thank for your words Reverend.

I'm praying for President Obama. He is too smart a man not to realize that discrimination is wrong.

Jerry Maneker said...

Dear Audrey: Thank you so much for this beautiful letter. It means a great deal to me!

The tragedy is that so many professing "Christians" have monopolized the media in giving their interpretations of selected biblical passages, usually devoid of understanding of either their mistranslated Greek words or the context of those passages, and then they seek to impose those false understandings onto others. And the institutional Church is largely, though not solely, made up of such clergy and their blind followers.

God is not a respecter of persons, and God loves both His Gay children and his Straight children! And we should let no one claiming to speak for God tell us any differently! Best wishes, Jerry.